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Query refinement by word proximity and position

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Traditional online information services have been offering proximity and positional operators for many years to narrow or broaden a search by specifying how far and in what order the words of the query should appear in the documents or in their surrogates to qualify for retrieval. The proximity and positional operators which define the distance and the order of the words required are not exactly intuitive and vary greatly from one online system to the other. Still, they are used by the savviest searchers intensively. This paper examines and evaluates various search engines in terms of word proximity and position.

Keywords: Information Retrieval; Internet; Searching

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/14684520410531691

Publication date: February 1, 2004

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